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Hemingway: If You Actually Care About Russian Meddling You Should Have A Lot Of Questions For Obama

Sat, 07/21/2018 - 21:15
Mollie Hemingway talked about the difference between those who actually care about election meddling and those who don't on Friday's edition of The Five. MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: We've had a week of absolute hysteria on this topic and, for me, I think there's one way to tell whether you actually care about election meddling or if you don't. If you do actually care about election meddling you should have a ton of questions for Barack Obama and his intelligence chiefs who knowingly allowed meddling to happen. They were talking about it in August, in September, October of 2016. They said they knew Russia is meddling, they did nothing. Barack Obama even told his cyber people to stand down... It was only after Donald Trump somehow won this election that all of a sudden it became this real big hullabaloo. JUAN WILLIAMS: But didn't they go to Senator McConnell and say, 'Senator McConnell, we don't want it to seem as if we're taking sides with the Democrat here. So, Senator McConnell let's do it.' Senator McConnell said no. HEMINGWAY: They wanted a statement that means nothing. What I'm talking about is if you actually think this is a big deal and you're not just using it as a way to go after Donald Trump, you should be demanding accountability commissions for the previous president and those intelligence chiefs. And if you're not doing that, I think that says everything we need to know which is you don't actually think it was that big of a deal because actually it wasn't.

Roseanne Barr: ABC Dropped Me Because I Voted For Donald Trump

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 21:54
Roseanne Barr addressed ABC canceling the reboot of Roseanne for her "egregious and unforgivable" tweet about Valerie Jarrett in a video statement. Barr said she thought former President Obama's closest White House aide was "white" when she likened her to a character from Planet of the Apes. Barr said she was willing to go on daytime TV shows like The View to explain her Jarrett comment. "Instead what happened was about 40 minutes after that my show was canceled before even one advertiser pulled out and I was labeled a racist. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. It's because I voted for Donald Trump and that is not allowed in Hollywood," Barr said.

Elizabeth Warren vs. Trump CFPB Nominee: Your Role In Family Separations Will Be A "Moral Stain"

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 17:56
Elizabeth Warren grills Kathy Kraninger, President Trump's nominee for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on her role in the family separation policy for migrant families at her confirmation on Thursday. "You see the videos of some of these children being returned to their parents after long separations. They're dazed. They're unsmiling. They're dirty. It's like the life has been sucked out of them. These are innocent children who may be scarred forever by this policy. It is fundamentally immoral and you -- you were a part of it, Ms. Kraninger. It is a moral stain that will follow you for the rest of your life," Warren told her. "And if the Senate votes to give a big promotion to you after this, then it is a stain on the Senators who do so," the Senator added. Full exhange: SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So one thing consumers need in a CFPB director is someone who's willing to stand up to powerful people on behalf of those who don't have power, and that's why I want to focus on the Trump administration's child separation policy. Since March of 2017, you've been the head of the general government programs at the Office of Management and Budget. Is that right, Ms. Kraninger? KATHY KRANINGER, NOMINEE FOR DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: That's correct. WARREN: It's an important job. The General Government Programs Division at OMB is in charge of overseeing both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Is that right? KRANINGER: Yes, Senator. WARREN: And according to the disclosures you submitted to this committee, you, quote, "serve as OMB's principal policy official for issues related to the departments and agencies you oversee." Is that right? KRANINGER: Yes, Senator. WARREN: Yes. So the Justice Department and Homeland Security are the two agencies most responsible for taking children away from their parents at the border, and you oversee policy issues at both agencies. But for a month now, you have refused to respond to Ranking Member Brown's and my request for information -- for documents relating to your role in child separations. And when we met in my office last week, you refused over and over to give me a straight answer about your role. So today, you've given a very lawyerly and limited answer; you're dodging. The answers have also been contradictory. You've said you have no role in setting the policy, but you also can't describe the advice you gave on the policy, which means it raises a question. Which is it: you had no role, or you had a role, and you can't describe it? So I'm going to ask you again under oath: were you involved in any way in developing or implementing the policies that led this administration to take thousands of children away from their parents at the border? KRANINGER: Senator, I had no role in setting the policy, as we discussed. I was unaware... WARREN: Please answer my question; it was developing or implementing. KRANINGER: I had no role in developing it. In terms of its announcement by the attorney general, and so I was not aware of that. WARREN: So you did help the attorney general announce it, but otherwise, did you help develop or implement this policy? KRANINGER: Subsequent to the attorney general's announcement, there were meetings within the administration on the general topic of the implementation, and again, the Office of Management and Budget does actively participate in those meetings. WARREN: So is that a yes? You were involved? That's a yes? KRANINGER: Senator, again, I -- I don't want to characterize the advice, as I know that you... WARREN: Well, Ms. Kraninger, I'm asking you a pretty straightforward yes or no question, and I will remind you, you are under oath, and lying to Congress is a crime. I'll also remind you that many of the documents I've requested about your role in this policy could eventually become public under the Freedom of Information Act. So let me ask again this specific question. Were you involved in developing or implementing the policies that led to children being taken away from their parents at the border? KRANINGER: Senator, it's difficult to separate the advice... (CROSSTALK) WARREN: I'll take that as a yes, then. KRANINGER: ...and so as I said, I -- I will not characterize the advice that was provided on -- on the analysis or otherwise. WARREN: I'm not asking you to characterize. I asked you a simple yes or no question. According to reports, in some cases the Trump Administration isn't sure which children belong to which parents. As of Monday, the administration had not identified the parents of 71 separated children, which means right now they can't be reunited. DHS is the agency that took parents away from their young children. Did you work with DHS to create a plan for eventually reuniting these children with their parents? KRANINGER: Senator, again I -- I can't characterize my advice, but as we also discussed, since I was nominated for this position I have not been involved. (CROSSTALK) WARREN: I asked just did you -- did you work with them on a plan? I didn't ask what the plan was, what advice you gave. Did you work with them on a plan to reunite these children who were taken away from their parents? KRANINGER: I understand the question, Senator, but it -- it becomes a slippery slope, in terms of characterizing the advice that was provided, or the analysis, or the questions that were raised. Again, I don't want to characterize any of that. WARREN: No, it's not a slippery slope. You don't want to characterize it because you don't want to admit that you had something to do with this. You know, this was a policy that was designed to traumatize children and families, as a way of scaring them away from the border. Even if they were seeking asylum, even if they were fleeing death threats, gang violence, rape, domestic abuse -- White House Chief of Staff Kelly said that the whole point of this was quote "to be a tough deterrent." The American Academy of Pediatrics says that being separated from their parents for weeks or months can cause these children irreparable, life-long, physical and psychological harm. Do you think that purposefully inflicting that on innocent children is immoral? CRAPO: And please make your answer brief. KRANINGER: Senator, I think there are many heartbreaking stories that -- that appear in the news every day, from the conversation we had about American families, hard-working who are affected by ... WARREN: It's a simple yes or no question. Do you believe that it is immoral to set up a plan whose deliberate intent is to inflict harm on children? KRANINGER: Senator, it's not appropriate for me to provide my personal opinion, and -- and internal deliberations and discussions on that matter. WARREN: Almost every member of this committee, Democrat and Republican, has denounced this policy. Even President Trump, when he signed the executive order ending child separations, said, and I'll quote, "I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated." But you can't have an opinion on this? You know, I went to the border last month. I met a mother who was torn away from her seven year old little boy in the middle of the night. She could not stop crying, all she could say over, and over, and over is, I never even had a chance to say goodbye. She had not seen her little boy for weeks. She had no idea where he was. You see the videos of some of these children being returned to their parents after long separations. They're dazed. They're unsmiling. They're dirty. It's like the life has been sucked out of them. These are innocent children who may be scarred forever by this policy. It is fundamentally immoral and you -- you were a part of it, Ms. Kraninger. It is a moral stain that will follow you for the rest of your life. And if the Senate votes to give a big promotion to you after this, then it is a stain on the Senators who do so.

Whoopi Goldberg Responds To Jeanine Pirro: "She Called Everyone At The Table A Name I Can Not Repeat"

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 17:30
Whoopi Goldberg responded to Jeanine Pirro's recollection of events that followed her wild segment on Thursday's broadcast of The View which ended with Goldberg telling her "goodbye" and ending the interview. However, after the cameras went off there was a confrontation between Pirro and Goldberg. Pirro told FOX News' Sean Hannity that Goldberg was "spitting" in her face as she told her to "get the F out of this building." On Sean Hannity's radio show yesterday Pirro said that she ran into Whoopi Goldberg as she was leaving the building and was accosted. Goldberg said it was Pirro who intentionally ran into her, and the rest did not happen the way she said it did. The cohost acknowledged she did say a "few choice words I cannot repeat." On Friday's edition of The View, Goldberg responded to Pirro and gave her version of events. She said the two did have a confrontation, but it was Pirro who started it. Goldberg said Pirro could have just passed her, but she stopped and "put her finger" in the host's face and yelled. Goldberg said at this point she said the choice words she can't repeat, however, she did not "spit" on Pirro, did not intimidate her or chased her out the building. Goldberg said all of this is true because the show had not ended and she needed to return to finish the taping. "Then I had to go back to work to finish the show which should tell you none of us were chasing her because we still had another segment to do," Whoopi concluded her story. Whoopi noted that Pirro was upset before the show started when she found out that CNN commentator Ana Navarro would be in the liberal seat and not regular co-host Joy Behar. Here's how Pirro recalled the events: I'm walking downstairs and I said something like, Whoopi I fought for victims my whole life and she came at me as I was leaving and she said ‘F you' in my face – literally spitting at me, ‘F you, get the F out of this building.' And I said to her, ‘did you just say that?' She said that's what I said, ‘get the F out of this building' and she was screaming at me and I'm walking out of the building like a dog who was just kicked off. Here's what Whoopi said happened: When I came off stage I went over there (points to distance) because I was a little hot. Okay. So I went to calm down. She came off, she could have just passed me, she didn't need to stop but she stopped. She put her finger in my face and yelled, 'I've done more for victims than you ever will.' Then I said to her some few choice words I cannot repeat. Yes, I did say it. But I did not spit on her. I did not intimidate her. No one chased her out of her saying get out. But she did leave her cursing at the people who booked the show. She cursed at the guys who do the security for the show. So, I did say to her in the middle of all of this, 'You and I have never had a problem before, you know.' And then I had to go back to work to finish the show which should tell you none of us were chasing her because we still had another segment to do. The Daily Beast confirmed Goldberg's claim that Pirro said a word she couldn't repeat. "Those cocksuckers! This is exactly what I told them would happen," Pirro said as she exited the stage. Goldberg's full comments on Friday's show: WHOOPI GOLDBERG, 'THE VIEW': Unless you were under a rock yesterday you know all about Jeanine Pirro's appearance here on the show. Now, things got hot on the air, which you expect, that happens a lot. But I want to clear up what happened afterward because she talked about it on FOX News last night and FOX & Friends this morning, on The Five, or whatever it is but she seemed to leave out some key points. Well, she left a lot of pertinent stuff out. And there were a lot of people backstage and I want to be very clear about what happened. There's a lot of spin that she's doing and I can't do anything about that but I can tell you what went on. She was upset when she got here because Ana Navarro was here because of Joy. And after the segment, which ended when it was supposed to. It was not early, it was not late, it ended when it was supposed to. She then called everybody at the table a name I can not repeat on the TV and said it infront of the audience. When I came off stage I went over there (points to distance) because I was a little hot. Okay. So I went to calm down. She came off, she could have just passed me, she didn't need to stop but she stopped. She put her finger in my face and yelled, 'I've done more for victims than you ever will.' Then I said to her some few choice words I cannot repeat. Yes, I did say it. But I did not spit on her. I did not intimidate her. No one chased her out of her saying get out. But she did leave her cursing at the people who booked the show. She cursed at the guys who do the security for the show. So, I did say to her in the middle of all of this, 'You and I have never had a problem before, you know.' And then I had to go back to work to finish the show which should tell you none of us were chasing her because we still had another segment to do. So for 20 years, the show has always had people on with different views. Like Newt Gingrich, Corey Lewandowski, Charlotte Pence, Sarah Sanders, Trey Gowdy, Dana Perino, Jenna and Barbara Bush. Jeanine, good luck with your book. I hear it is number one. I preferred your last book about Robert Durst, but there is no accounting for taste. I like the book -- I liked the last book. So that's what happened and I suspect this is going to go on because she has a show on Saturday and stuff. But, look, you can come to this show. We treat everybody with respect. But you cannot come and call people names, you cannot point at people and you don't do this (hand gesture) to people. And people who know Jeanine know exactly what I'm talking about. They know that she likes to stir it up. I rarely get stirred up but I got stirred up yesterday. I did apologize for getting hot. I said it doesn't happen often. Every ten years it seems.

CNN Panel on Trump/Putin Talks: "What The Hell Is Going On? What?"

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 14:51
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement Thursday that says President Trump will not accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal to question Americans accused of crimes in Russia, including the former US ambassador, in exchange for providing access to those indicted by Mueller for hacking the DNC. CNN's Jake Tapper hosts Josh Holmes, Angela Rye, Alex Marquardt, and more to try to make sense of what they see. "What the Hell is going on?" Tapper asked. "Seriously, what the Hell?"

Sen. Rand Paul: Why Does John Brennan Still Have Top Secret Security Clearance?

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 14:44
Sen. Rand Paul joins FNC's Tucker Carlson to make that case that former CIA director John Brennan "is not a stable man" and a "passionate ideologue with a documented history of dishonesty." Along with former intelligence chiefs Jim Clapper and Michael Hayden. "As CIA director, he lied about spying on Senate staffers -- which they did, and killing civilians with drone strikes. He lied about the Steele dossier. In 2010 he prevented the CIA from referring to Islamic militants as jihadists because 'Jihad is a holy struggle and legitimate tenet of Islam,'" Tucker Carlson said of Brennan. "This is not a man who should have a security clearance." "You hate to think the deep state is real, that there is a permanent government that operates independently of voters and democracy, itself, but as long as guys like this have security clearances, you've got to wonder," Carlson said. "This is alarming," Sen. Rand Paul said. "Can he look at all of my information? As unhinged as he is right now, calling the president treasonous. Is he for the death penalty for the president?" "John Brennan has a history of leaking information," Sen. Paul said. "Not only for political reasons... Who in their right mind would want to let him have the power still to look through everybody's records?" "He's a private citizen who works for a cable news station, could I get a top secret clearance and find out government secrets and use them in the course of my job? What is this?" Carlson said. Sen. Paul announced his intention to send a letter to the president about it.

MSNBC's Ali Velshi: Apple and Google "Make Money" From Apps Promoting Qanon, Pizzagate Conspiracy Theories

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 14:33
MSNBC's Ali Velshi reports on the popular internet conspiracy theory alleging that a government insider named "Q" is leaving coded messages for Trump fans on message boards like 4chan, describing the president's "secret plan" to arrest the network of "deep state" pedophiles described in the also-widespread 2016 "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. "Apple and Google have vowed to fight fake news and conspiracy theories -- but they are also profiting from it," Velshi reported. "The tech giants sold an app in their stores called "Q Drops" ... [which is] linked to the conspiracy theory chain Q Anon, which is described as an offshoot of the Pizzagate fiction, which claims Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring out a basement of a Washington D.C. pizza shop (that didn't even have a basement)." "Many of the more than 1,700 posts, which fans call 'bread crumbs' are vague, making it tough to nail down an exact storyline, but the main theme here is that Hillary Clinton and many of the world's other politicians and celebrities are members of a murderous child sex cult. And President Trump has secretly created a police force to arrest them and force them to wear ankle bracelets." The "breadcrumb" Velshi displayed on screen did not seem to make any claims like that, but instead implied the claims were a Trump-style cry for attention, noting, "Disinformation is real. Disinformation is necessary," and asking, "Why was this necessary? What questions were asked? Why is this relevant?" "There are people who actually believe this stuff," Velshi said. "It sounds wild, but it has thousands of followers who have spread the Qanon theory to the rest of the world -- using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites and message boards." "So what does all of this have to do with Apple and Google?" he asked. "Well, the companies made money whenever someone bought the Q Drops app in the app stores." Velshi also noted that while Apple removed the apps after being contacted by NBC News, Google has yet to respond, where it remains on sale for 99 cents. A company like Apple or Google normally take between 15-30% of the price of an app hosted in their store. "The people behind Q Drops tweeted that they are working with Apple to get it back in the app store, Velshi also said.

Jeanine Pirro Reacts To 'The View' Interview: Whoopi Screamed At Me To "Get The F Out"

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 13:22
Jeanine Pirro appeared on Sean Hannity's radio program Thursday afternoon to react to getting kicked off 'The View' by host Whoopi Goldberg earlier in the day and shared what happened after the interview ended. Pirro said after the segment concluded she was walking downstairs to exit the building when Goldberg "came at me" and screamed, "F you." She said Goldberg was "literally spitting" at her and said she walked out of the building like a "dog who was just kicked off." "So forget about what she did to me on set, which was horrific in itself but the treatment by Whoopi Goldberg is typical of what is going on in this country," Pirro said. "The left, they invite you on to talk, they then won't let you talk, they throw you off the show and then they throw you out of the building. And here's the problem Sean, the problem is once one starts doing it, the rest of them are going to start doing it." "I've sat on murder trials – I'd go toe-to-toe with anyone. I've tried murder cases, I've gone against drug cartels… I have never been treated like that in my life. I was stunned," Pirro concluded. Transcript, via The Sean Hannity Show: PIRRO: If you listen to that, I haven't watched it and I haven't looked at what happening. I'm still reeling from it to be honest with you. I went on thinking that we would have a discussion about the book. The truth is, that it was an attack on Donald Trump, and then on me. I sat there as Whoopi Goldberg pontificated about how horrible Donald Trump was and at one point I said ‘you know I'm here to talk about the book' and then she went ballistic – ended the segment. She said ‘that's it I'm done' and what people didn't see who were watching the show, was she yanked away from the desk where we were all sitting and she decided that she was going to end it. No one saw that, but it got worse. When I went off the stage, Sean, I'm walking downstairs and I said something like, Whoopi I fought for victims my whole life and she came at me as I was leaving and she said ‘F you' in my face – literally spitting at me, ‘F you, get the F out of this building.' And I said to her, ‘did you just say that?' She said that's what I said, ‘get the F out of this building' and she was screaming at me and I'm walking out of the building like a dog who was just kicked off. So forget about what she did to me on set, which was horrific in itself but the treatment by Whoopi Goldberg is typical of what is going on in this country. The left, they invite you on to talk, they then won't let you talk, they throw you off the show and then they throw you out of the building. And here's the problem Sean, the problem is once one starts doing it, the rest of them are going to start doing it. I said in the first segment – and again I have to look at it – I said ‘we need to start talking about this stuff.' We need to start recognizing that it doesn't matter if it's Donald Trump or if it's a Democrat running. We've got to have a Department of Justice and FBI that is not corrupt. I'll tell you Sean, I've been prosecutor, a judge for 30 years. I've sat on murder trials – I'd go toe-to-toe with anyone. I've tried murder cases, I've gone against drug cartels… I have never been treated like that in my life. I was stunned.

'Special Report' Panel: Trump-Putin Private Conversation, Putin Invited To D.C.

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 13:06
Jonah Goldberg, Mollie Hemingway, and Mike Allen discuss with host Bret Baier.

Trump: I'll Be Putin's "Worst Enemy" If US-Russia Relations Fail

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 12:59
CNBC: President Donald Trump spoke with CNBC anchor Joe Kernen on Thursday just outside the Oval Office at the White House. The conversation touched on the state of the U.S. economy, America's trade wars — and the president's news-making remarks about the Federal Reserve's ongoing interest-rate hikes. Trump on U.S. relationship with Russia/Putin: "Getting along with President Putin getting along with Russia is positive not a negative. Now, with that being said if that doesn't work out I'll be the worst enemy he's ever had – the worst he's ever had."

George Will: Trump "Syntactically Challenged"; A "Sad, Embarrassing Wreck Of A Man"

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:29
MSNBC: President Trump walked back a statement that implied he sided with Russian President Putin over U.S. Intelligence officials. Conservative columnist George Will joins The Beat to discuss his latest piece calling Trump a "sad, embarrassing wreck of a man” and notes that Trump's language is indicative of his thought pattern, telling Ari Melber: "If you can't say something, you can't think it”.

Whoopi Goldberg Blows Up, Ends 'The View' Interview With Judge Jeanine Pirro: "Goodbye"

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:09
Whoopi Goldberg blew up on Judge Jeanine Pirro in an interview on 'The View' today. Goldberg cut her off, said "bye" and moved to commercial break after Pirro brought up victims of violence committed by illegal immigrants. The situation between Goldberg and Pirro began after the guest accused the host of having 'Trump Derangement Syndrome.' "Did you just point at me?" Goldberg reacted. "Listen, I don't have Trump derangement [syndrome]. Let me tell you what I have. I'm tired of people starting a conversation with 'Mexicans are liars and rapists.'" "Listen, 62 years old. There have been a lot of people in office that I didn't agree with. But I have never, ever seen anything like this. I have never seen anybody whip up such hate. I have never seen anybody be so dismissive," Whoopi added. "You know what's horrible?" Pirro asked Goldberg. "When people who shouldn't be here end up murdering the children of American citizens. What's horrible is we have sanctuary cities." "What is horrible is when the president of the United States whips up people to beat the hell out of people," Goldberg responded. "Say goodbye. I'm done," Goldberg said to wild applause as she ended the interview. When the show returned from commercial break, Goldberg apologized for her behavior. "You saw me do something I very rarely do, I very rarely lose my cool and I'm not proud of it," she said. "I don't like it. But I also don't like being accused of being hysterical because that is one of the things I try not to be on this show."

Rand Paul: Trump Derangement Syndrome Has Officially Come To The Senate

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:26
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Trump Derangement Syndrome has officially come to the Senate. The hatred for the President is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance. Does anybody remember that Ronald Reagan sat down with Gorbachev and lessened the nuclear tensions? We need to still have those open talks. Nobody is saying or excusing Russia's meddling in our elections. Absolutely, we should protect the integrity of our elections. But simply bringing the hatred of the president to the Senate floor in order to say, 'We're done with diplomacy, we're going to add more sanctions and more sanctions'... The hatred for the president is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance... This has got to stop. This is crazy hatred of the president. We don't have to have war, we can still have engagement... We should stand firm and say, 'Stay the hell out of our elections,' but we should not stick our head in the ground and say we're not going to talk to them.

Cuomo On Trump Acknowledging Russia Meddled in Election: "You Know He Doesn't Mean It"

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:52
CNN's Chris Cuomo said that President Trump didn't "mean it" when acknowledged that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Cuomo said Wednesday night that people tend to get over it quickly when Trump does something and that he was disappointed because he thought this time would be "different." From his interview with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): CUOMO: It is. It gets you into the feels of it. You know, a resolution is what the kids would call a little bit of meh today. You know, it's not going to actually make anything different. But it's a start in terms of coalescing down there in Washington towards a joint purpose. Let's talk about what that purpose may be in light of what you're up against, which is this from the president today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEFF GLOR, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: You say you agree with U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016. DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, and I've said that before, Jeff. I've said that numerous times before. And I would say that that is true, yes. (END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: He goes slow when he says it because you know he doesn't mean it. He thinks it's bad for him. We're going to have a whole fact-based wall in a second after this interview about what he's done and why it actually happened. He is not going to make any signature move against Russia. What can Congress do to force his hand? What can Congress do to do that without him? FLAKE: Well, before, last year, when he said that he would veto any sanctions that we placed on Russia, we moved ahead and passed something 98-2 in the Senate. CUOMO: Right. FLAKE: I think it was 330-2 in the House as well.

Fmr U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul: Trump Giving "Moral Equivalency" To "Cockamamy" Russian Accusations

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:53
Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has been listed by the Russian government as a person of interest in the Bill Browder/Russia financial scam, and President Trump allegedly told President Putin on Monday that the U.S. would consider sending McFaul and Browder to Moscow for "questioning." Browder is accused by the Russians of robber baron activities and tax evasion in the 1990s during the chaos following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Browder surrendered his U.S. citizenship in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes and now resides in the U.K. Interpol says Russia's accusations are political and have rejected many Russian requests to arrest Browder. Eventually, Browder lobbied for Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, a law to punish Russian human rights violators by banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans, which was signed into law in 2012 by President Barack Obama. This is the "child adoption" issue that the infamous Donald Trump Jr. Trump Tower meeting with a Russian operative centered on. "There was some conversation about it, but there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday about the idea of sending McFaul and Browder back to Russia. In exchange for the opportunity to have McFaul and a number of other Americans questioned, the Russian president offered to let Special Counsel Robert Mueller observe interrogations of 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted last week for hacking DNC email accounts. McFaul, who served under President Barack Obama and now teaches at Stanford University, wrote on Twitter that he hopes "the White House corrects the record and denounces in categorical terms this ridiculous request from Putin" and later joined MSNBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday's edition of 'The 11th Hour' to discuss the profound "surprise" and "disappointment" that the Trump administration is not standing up for him. "The weird thing about that statement was the dependent clause at the beginning, 'I can't speak for the White House.' This is supposed to be one government, and time and time again on Russia it appears like we have two policies. We have one policy by the entire government, and then one policy by President Trump," McFaul said. "Number two, by not batting away this as absurd, the president is suggesting that there is moral equivalency between an indictment put out by Mr. Mueller of 12 Russian intelligence offices, with a crazy cockamamy story that makes absolutely no sense, no logical sense, that somehow the U.S. ambassador is helping money laundering." "By not saying that these things are not equivalent, the president is suggesting there is a moral equivalency."

Word For Word: Did President Trump Say He Thinks Russia Is No Longer Attacking U.S.?

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:32
The latest Trump outrage consists of reports that the president answered "no" to a shouted question asking if Russia is still engaged in "election hacks" at this time. At the end of the public portion of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump is reported to have told a reporter that he no longer believes Russia plans to make further cyber attacks against the U.S. Q: Mr. President, is Russia still targeting the U.S.? Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President? THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. No. Q: No, you don't believe that to be the case? THE PRESIDENT: No. Thank you very much, everybody. Q: But can you just clarify, you don't believe that to be the case? THE PRESIDENT: We're doing very well. Let me tell you, we're doing very well. And we're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russia. And there's been no President ever as tough as I have been on Russia. All you have to do is look at the numbers. Look at what we've done. Look at sanctions. Look at ambassadors not there. Look, unfortunately, at what happened in Syria recently. And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody, certainly a lot better than the media. He understands it. And he's not happy about it, and he shouldn't be happy about it - because there's never been a President as tough on Russia as I have been. Okay, thank you very much. Thank you very much. Was he responding no to the questions, or saying no, I won't answer your question? You decide.

Rep. Matt Gaetz to Twitter: You Tell Congress One Thing, But In Court Your Lawyer Says Something Different

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:21
Rep. Matt Gaetz questions Nick Pickles, senior strategist for public policy at Twitter, about exactly which rights the company claims to have regarding user data on its network, including what content can be banned and why. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing examining the content filtering practices of social media sites, Gaetz pointed out a seeming contradiction in claims made by Twitter's lawyers during litigation and the official policy they tell Congress. The problem arises from what rights the company claims for itself under the First Amendment while also claiming rights as a neutral publisher. Unfortunately, Twitter's senior strategist for public policy is "not a lawyer," so an answer to the Congressman's legal question was not immediately forthcoming. REP. MATT GAETZ: Mr. Pickles, is it your testimony or your viewpoint today that Twitter is an interactive computer service pursuant to Section 230(c)(1)? NICK PICKLES, TWITTER: I'm not a lawyer, so I won't speak to that. But I understand that under Section 230, we are protected by that, yes. GAETZ: So-so, if your - if Section 230 covers you, and that section says "no provider or user of interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another," is it your contention that Twitter enjoys a First Amendment right under speech, while at the same time enjoying Section 230 rights? PICKLES: Well, I think we've discussed the way that the First Amendment contracts to those companies as private companies. We enforce our rules. And our rules prohibit a range of activities. GAETZ: I'm not asking about your rules. I'm asking about whether or not you believe you have First Amendment rights? You either do or you do not. PICKLES: I - well, I'd like to follow-up on that because as someone who's not a lawyer, I think that ... (CROSSTALK) GAETZ: That's (inaudible). You're the senior public policy ... PICKLES: Absolutely. GAETZ: ... official for Twitter before us, and you will not answer the question of whether or not you believe your company enjoys rights under the First Amendment? PICKLES: Well I believe we do, but I would like to confirm with colleagues. GAETZ: So - so what I want to understand is, if you say I enjoy rights under the First Amendment and I'm covered by Section 230. And Section 230 itself says "no provider shall be considered the speaker" - do you see the tension that creates? PICKLES: Yes, but I also see that Congress we've worked with previously to identify why it's important to remove content that is of child sexual abuse. And why it's important ... GAETZ: OK well let's - let's explore some of those extremes then. I know Twitter would never do this, I'll disclaim that. But could Twitter remove someone from their platform because they're gay or because they're a woman? PICKLES: Well we would remove someone breaking our rules, and that behavior is not prohibited under our rules. GAETZ: So, it's your contention that Twitter does not have the ability then to remove someone because they're gay or because they're a woman? PICKLES: I have to say that context is not part of the context of whether they break our rules. GAETZ: OK, well Jared Taylor is a horrible human being who you're currently litigating with. But that litigation seems to - the transcript from it seems to have some tension with what you're telling Congress. The cord in that litigation asks the question, does Twitter have the right to take somebody off its platform because it doesn't like the fact that the person is a woman, or gay? And the response from the attorney for Twitter was, the First Amendment would give Twitter the right, just like it would give a newspaper the right to choose to not run an op-ed from someone because she happens to be a woman. Would Twitter ever do that? Absolutely not, not in a million years. Does the First Amendment provide that protection? It absolutely does. So was your lawyer correct in that assessment? Or were you correct when you just said that that would not be permitted? PICKLES: Well I'm not familiar with the facts of that case. And you can appreciate I can't comment on ongoing litigation. But this is absolutely a critical public policy issue; one that's important we debate. Because as our companies seek to reassure you in this committee of the way we take our decisions in a neutral way, and not take into account political beliefs, I think that the fact our rules are public and that we are taking steps to improve the transparency of how we improve the enforcement of those rules are important steps to take. GAETZ: Right but - it is not in service of transparency if your company sends executives to Congress to say one thing that you would not have the right to engage in that conduct. And then your lawyers, in litigation say precisely the opposite. That serves to frustrate transparency. But my time is expired. Shortly after in the hearing Gaetz clarified what he meant: GAETZ: I'll begin by associating myself with some of the comments from Mr. Lieu and Mr. Raskin. When they indicate that the government should not foist upon the technology community, the, you know, the overregulation of the government, I completely agree. My question is, when you avail yourself to the protections of Section 230, do you necessarily surrender some of your rights as a publisher or speaker? The way I read that statute now, it's pretty binary. It says that you have to be one or the other. You have to be Section 230 protected, or you're a speaker with a full complement of your First Amendment rights. I'm cool with that. I would love you guys to make the choice. I come from the libertarian-leaning segment of my party. I just think it is confusing when you try to have it both ways; when you try to say that, you know, we get these liability protections but, at the same time, we have the right to throttle content. We have the right to designate content. And -- and, in the most extreme examples, when you have a Twitter attorney saying in court, we would -- we would never do this, but we would have the right to ban people based on their gender or their sexual orientation. So, I wanted to clear up those comments. You can watch the full hearing below:

Dave Rubin: We Are Getting To The Point Where We Will Excuse Violence If We Haven't Already

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:16
Dave Rubin appeared on Wednesday's Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss the "out of control" left. Rubin cited a liberal Hollywood friend who told his brethren to try and be more tolerant of their ideological opponent's views. This friend tweeted that people should check out Ben Shapiro for the sake of fairness. "The amount of hate that it got caused the guy to delete the tweet because the mob just goes after anyone who dares say let's be tolerant," Rubin reported. "If that's really where we are right now then, yeah, what you've been talking about on this show for quite some time about this escalating to violence. Well if we can't talk then the only thing left is violence and I'm doing everything I can to avoid that. I think you're trying to do and I think there's a bunch of other people trying to do it too and we've just got to get louder and keep showing people that that's (talking) truly the answer," Rubin said.

Rand Paul: John Brennan's Pension Should Be Under Question, He Voted For A Communist

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:02
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on the war of words between Donald Trump and John Brennan after the ex-CIA director called the president's press conference with Putin "treasonous." "Well, you have to realize John Brennan started his illustrious career by voting for the communist party," Paul said on Wednesday's Tucker Carlson Tonight. "That's who he wanted to win the presidency back in the 70s. So, he voted for the communist party." "When he came to be head of the CIA, I filibustered him because I thought he was bad news from the very beginning," Paul said. "And I think what you've seen is and what should worry us all is this was one of the most powerful people in the world who has the ability to destroy anybody in the world and gain information on anything you do, any American, any foreigner, the head of the CIA." "Yet, with all of that power, he was coming to work each day with a bias and a hatred of the president. It should worry us all," he added. Paul questioned whether Brennan should receive a government pension. "It makes me wonder whether he should be getting a government pension if he is going to be disrespecting the commander-in-chief, calling the president treasonous. That's about as overtop as you can imagine," Paul said. TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Former CIA Director John Brennan is describing the president's summit with Vladimir Putin as "treason." That seems a little over the top, and yet, amazingly, many otherwise responsible people have raced to endorse that assessment. We asked the president about it in Helsinki and here's what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Well, I think Brennan is a very bad guy. And if you look at it, a lot of things happened under his watch. I think he is a very bad person. (END VIDEO CLIP) CARLSON: Someone who does not think that the president's meeting with Putin is treason is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and he joins us tonight in the studio. Senator, thanks a lot for coming on. SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Glad to be here. CARLSON: So, the former director of the CIA, you think of that as a sober-minded person, a responsible person, kind of a James Bond with maybe an advanced degree, here you have a naked partisan nut cake describing a press conference as treason. How should that make us feel as American citizens? PAUL: It makes me wonder whether he should be getting a government pension if he is going to be disrespecting the commander-in-chief, calling the president treasonous. That's about as overtop as you can imagine. CARLSON: But treason is a death penalty offense. He is describing views he disagrees with. PAUL: Well, yes. CARLSON: Is disagreeing with someone's opinion the same as betraying the country? PAUL: Well, you have to realize John Brennan started his illustrious career by voting for the communist party. That's who he wanted to win the presidency back in the 70s. So, he voted for the communist party. When he came to be head of the CIA, I filibustered him because I thought he was bad news from the very beginning. And I think what you've seen is and what should worry us all is this was one of the most powerful people in the world who has the ability to destroy anybody in the world and gain information on anything you do,any American, any foreigner, the head of the CIA. And yet, with all of that power, he was coming to work each day with a bias and a hatred of the president. It should worry us all. What others things could he possibly have been doing with that power? So, I'm a big believer that we need more checks and balances on those in the intelligence community. James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper. We need much more surveillance - CARLSON: I mean, it's just such an irresponsible thing to say. Look, it's not a defense of the president or any figure to say, accusing someone of treason is a very big deal. You kind of wish the Congress were exercising its oversight role more aggressively. I know you're trying. I want to ask you about Montenegro. A consensus has formed in Washington today that America has a moral obligation to protect the territorial integrity of Montenegro. If Montenegro was attacked, Americans have, again, a moral obligation to die to protect Montenegro. Do you think that we do? PAUL: No. And here's what people who have talked about NATO expansion have said. They have said, when you add Montenegro, does that add to our national security or does it actually increase our strategic risk of war? And I think it's more the latter that when you add a Montenegro or an Albania - or actually, we have a resolution before us in Congress right now that I have been opposing that says that anybody in the world who wants to join NATO, anyone who is qualified can. That means we could have 50, 60 countries. That means we could have Equatorial Guinea in there. And if Mali attacks Equatorial Guinea somehow, we're going to have a world war. CARLSON: Who would back something that lunatic? PAUL: Well, we had a vote. And I tried to strip out the any aspirant could join NATO and I lost 20-1. Every member of the Foreign Relations Committee voted against my amendment. And all my amendment would have done was strip out the section that says that we invite any aspirant to join it. CARLSON: Do you believe that the average American has any idea that we are obligated by treaty to protect countries that nobody in America can find on a map? Do people know that? PAUL: Nobody knows that. And here is the interesting thing. And this is what the presidents gets it and nobody in Washington does. People in Washington are unified that everybody should be in NATO. The whole world should be in NATO even if they were former Soviet satellites. They want to put them in NATO, oblivious to the fact that that could get us involved in World War III. But if you come to Kentucky or you go to Tennessee and you ask average Republicans, average Democrats, do you think we should put every country in NATO and defend every country in the world? Most people would say, hell no, I don't believe that. CARLSON: Because it's insane. Senator, thank you for bringing this to public attention. We should at least have a debate on it. I know that you're trying to force one. Thank you. PAUL: Thank you. CARLSON: Well, a U.S. territory has authorized the seizure of guns from private citizens. They said that would never happen. Well, it is happening. One congressman is paying close attention and is trying to end it. He joins us next.

Rep. Matt Gaetz to Facebook: How Many Times Can A Page Encourage Violence Against Republicans Before Its Banned?

Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:02
Rep. Matt Gaetz questions Monika Bickert, head of global policy management for Facebook, about why a Facebook account called "Milkshakes Against The Republican Party" has not been banned after making multiple posts calling for the assassination of Republican congressmen. "I brought it to your attention when I e-mailed it to you. And then, I brought it to your attention when I went to Facebook with Mr. Ratcliffe. We went to California. We went to your corporate headquarters," Gaetz said about the posts. "I showed these posts to your executives. And the response I got from your executives is, well, we removed those specific posts, but we're not going to remove the entire page." "So, I guess if a page hosts repeated content that threatens violence and that references the shooting of Republicans at a baseball game, why would you not remove the page?" "How many times does a page have to encourage violence against Republican members of Congress at baseball practice before you will ban the page?" REP. MATT GAETZ: Ms. Bickert. I've provided to you a screenshot I've taken from content that was published on Facebook from a page that is Milkshakes Against the Republican Party. There are two posts. Would you read the first one? And there is one naughty word there that you're welcome to skip over. Will you read it aloud? MONIKA BICKERT, FACEBOOK: Congressman, this is a post Milkshakes Against the Republican Party. It has a picture and it says, "Parents in the waiting area for today's school shooting in Florida." And then it says, "You remember the shooting at the Republican baseball game? One of those should happen every week until those NRA," and then their unpleasant words. And then there's -- I'm not sure if this is another post beneath it or not. GAETZ: Yes, that's a second post. Will you read that? That has no naughty words. BICKERT: It says, "Dear Crazed Shooters, the GOP has frequent baseball practice. You really want to be remembered, that is how you do it. Signed, Americans tired of our politicians bathing in the blood of the innocent for a few million dollars from the terrorist organization NRA." GAETZ: Do these posts violate your terms of service? BICKERT: Any call for violence violates our terms of service... GAETZ: So, why is Milkshakes Against the Republican Party still a live page on your platform? BICKERT: I can't speak -- I haven't reviewed this page. I can't speak to why any page is up or not up. But we can certainly follow-up... GAETZ: So... BICKERT: ... with it. GAETZ: ... so a member of my staff provided these comments to Facebook. And we said based on our reading of your terms of service and, frankly, based on your testimony today, where you say we are committed to removing content that encourages real-world harm -- based on that, this would be a facial violation. But, I received back what I've provided to you. And the highlighted portion of -- of Facebook's message back to my staff includes, it doesn't go against one of our specific community standards. So, you -- do you see the tension between your public testimony today, your terms of service, and then your conduct when you are presented with violent calls to shoot people who are members of my party at baseball practice? BICKERT: Congressmen, there's no place for any calls for violence on Facebook. I will certainly follow-up after the hearing and make sure that we're addressing content you bring to our attention in (inaudible)... GAETZ: Thank you, yes. I mean, I -- I brought it to your attention when I e-mailed it to you. And then, I brought it to your attention when I went to Facebook with Mr. Ratcliffe. We went to California. We went to your corporate headquarters. I showed these posts to your executives. And the response I got from your executives is, well, we removed those specific posts, but we're not going to remove the entire page. So, I -- I guess if a page hosts repeated content that threatens violence and that references the shooting of Republicans at a baseball game, why would you not remove the page? BICKERT: Thank you, Congressman. OK. So, these posts were removed but the page has not been removed, is that... GAETZ: Correct. BICKERT: ... correct? OK. So we remove pages, or groups or profiles when there is a certain threshold of violations that has been met. So -- and this depends. If somebody, for instance posts an image of child sexual abuse imagery, their account will come down right away. But there are different thresholds depending on different violations. So, I can follow-up... GAETZ: So -- so... BICKERT: ... with you on that. GAETZ: ... Yes. How many times does a page have to encourage violence against Republican members of Congress at baseball practice before you will ban the page? BICKERT: Congressman, I'm happy to look into this, and look at the page specifically and then come back to you with an answer. GAETZ: You -- you agree, this is a mistake, right? BICKERT: The -- these -- the posts should not be on Facebook. I have to look at a specific page before -- with my team, before we can... GAETZ: Do you think that this page should be hosted on Facebook with these multiple calls for violence against people in my party? BICKERT: Congressman, I personally have not seen the page on Facebook. But I will look into it with my team. GAETZ: You've seen these posts though, right? RASKIN: Will the chairman yield... GAETZ: Yes, I'll yield. RASKIN: ... for a sympathetic question? I -- I'm -- I'm agreeing with the chairman about this. And I think we arrived at the exact same place when we were talking about at what threshold does InfoWars have their page taken down after they repeatedly deny the historical reality of massacres of children in public schools? And so, when you follow-up with it, and obviously you want to look into the specifics of the case, I would love it if you would follow-up also about Alex Jones and InfoWars. If certain content, you're saying has been taken down, when they are taunting the students from Parkland, but at what point does the whole page get taken down? And I agree, certainly, that the -- that these posts should be taken down that the chairman's talking about. I yield back. GAETZ: I thank the gentleman and would concur with his sentiments. My time has expired. And seeing no further business before the committee, this concludes today's hearing. Thank you to the distinguished witnesses for attending. Without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witnesses or additional materials for the record. The hearing is adjourned. You can watch the full hearing below:

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